Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Work-Life Balance

The New York State Bar Association's Special Committee on Balanced Lives in the Law recently released its report, which was adopted unanimously by the NYSBA House of Delegates. The conclusions of the report are discouraging for attorneys who are attempting to strike a balance between commitment to their profession and commitment to their families. Attorneys today are spending less time with their families and devoting less time to civic affairs than in the past. Young attorneys are finding it particularly difficult to strike an acceptable balance between work and home, and also report that they did not realize how demanding a legal career would be. Technology is one culprint. There is no longer a clear dividing line between our homes and our offices thanks to email, cell phones, etc., and this is exacerbating the pressures that attorneys feel today. Flexible work schedules are more talked about than actually implemented at most firms, which makes life particularly difficult for attorneys with young children.

The Committee recommendations include flex time or reduced hours. They also include urging law schools to prepare students for what the practice of law will be like so that they will not enter the profession with unrealistic expectations.

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